“Networking is all about cultivating relationships. You act like a stepping ladder to them and vice-verse”
Get Ready To Network
Your networking kit need to be kept handy, because you can not afford to under-estimate the power that your networking skills equip you with. You may be a start-up or a corporation facing a drill of plateauing. But if you are a growing or /and a grown-up company, you surely know what am I talking about. Your network gives you so much of power to climb the up-hill way!
5 Eminent pre-meeting strategies
- Determine. You must first of all know the importance of networking. Only then you can go ahead with the networking hacks. You may be the introvert kind who feels goose-bump when it comes to presenting a product to a prospect. But if you have decided to overcome the fear, you are already on your way to it!
- Practise on Stranger. Yes. You heard it right. Most of us may feel hesitant to speak in public, especially if the mob is unknown to us. But we forget that, this is the best part of public speaking and connecting with our audience. Take baby steps. Start the conversation when you see a colleague in the lift rather than they doing it. Do not feel awkward, when you say a “Hi” to your busy neighbour, whom you bump into every other day. The drycleaner, the laundry boy, the room-service guy, the cafeteria attendant, the list never ends. But this exercise will help you practise to connect with strangers.
- Do your Homework. Now, I don’t mean you ought to do a homework before waving a “Hi’ to your co-passenger in the car-pool. To upgrade your ability to conduct an engaging conversation, you need to work upon few things before showing up. Let’s say, you are going for an event from your department. Do a little R&D about the objectives, sponsors, speakers and the kind of people you are about to meet-up. Familiarization is much easier when you can mentally connect with the other person. Make a mental list of ice-breakers you may potentially use while shaking hands with that stranger, who is a valuable network to your company.
- Be Sure about your Goals. Many a times you will attend events, where people walk in late, shake hands, exchange business cards, eat, drink and leave. The next day, morning when they go through the business cards, they remember no one! Remember, networking makes you powerful. Your Network Is Your Net Worth. For prime objective should be to ‘Leave your Mark’. Quantify the new connections you have made. To an extent that if you check them out on professional networking sites and send a connection request, they don’t think a second to add you in their list!
- Get Ready, It’s time to NETWORK. Your business card is a handy conversation starter. Ensure you follow the ‘Business Card Etiquette’ like glancing at the card given to you, for a second before pushing it into your card holder. Complimenting a start-up on their innovative logo, your interest in the industry ( if you’re currently not into it), sharing your card in exchange, immediately, are few of the etiquettes. Smile is not just to cover-up your nervousness. It is to showcase the world, your inner self with confidence. You smile and the world smiles. Smile in infectious. Focus on quality conversation.
A firm handshake, loads of business cards and a warm smile. At least 5 minutes per person. Showing your eagerness in understanding their business. These are quite essential to leave your mark on the crowd in an event!
- Master your public speaking skills
- A firm handshake
- Play the ‘name game’ well
- Give sincere compliments
- Share opportunities, references
“It’s not what you know, but whom you know, matters the most. Your Network is indeed your Net Worth!”